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Heartwarming / Knights of the Dinner Table

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Sure, at times these guys can be about three seconds away from brutally murdering each other, both in-game and away from the table, but the moment some outside force causes trouble, the Knights stand united, together against their foe. And if you're the person causing said trouble, then prepare for the suffering that is to come.

  • At one point, due to his Dad banning him from playing Hack Master, Bob has to resort to various lies in order to join the Knights, at one point having to fake having a job because his Dad's watching him (see the Crowning Moment of Funny page). When it becomes clear that he's in danger of being caught, Brian and Dave come to his aid to make sure he can continue gaming.
    Brian: I think we owe you an apology, Bob. We've let you down! In the game we've always been a team - us against the world! But we've been letting you fight a lonely battle in your efforts to just make it to the game each week. Tonight that changes. From now on, we're going to face that challenge as a team!
    • The same occurs later on when Bob gets himself thrown out of his parents' house. When Dave finds out, he lets Bob crash at his place. Meanwhile, Brian is complaining about Bob (and Dave) being late to the game, but the moment the Knights find out that Bob is homeless Brian wants to go looking for him.
  • When Bob, Dave, and Brian attend a Garycon when B.A. and Sara couldn't go, the trio pick up a present for B.A.: a copy of Dawg the Roleplaying Game, an Indy RPG B.A. produced some years ago which was destroyed by reviewers. The trio actually think it's a really good game, and want him to run a few sessions for them. Considering B.A. usually ends up the Butt-Monkey of the Knight's antics, it's really nice to see them showing him some kindness and appreciation (Bob mentions that they found it in a box of "crappy games" that one of the dealers was trying to unload cheap, but this appears to be cluelessness rather than a deliberate attempt to be insulting).
    • Brian even defends the game and insists that it's salvageable even as its many flaws are pointed out, because "that's what second editions are for."
  • After Sara finds out that Troy's Boys just wanted her to provide a mixed-gender group bonus at an upcoming tournament, she walks out on them and decides to re-join the Knights. Bob and Dave start gleefully describing the humiliating initiation ceremony to let her back in... until Brian shouts them down and informs them that they'll either let Sara rejoin without any of that crap or else answer to him.
    • B.A. puts it best: "Say what you will about the man, but there's a big heart beating in that chest."
    • Later, the other players in the group take their revenge on Troy's Boys for treating Sara like that. When they show her the pictures and she asks why they did it, they tell her that the Knights have to stick together. She's genuinely touched (and gleeful about Troy's Boys getting their comeuppance).
  • How close are these guys? When Bob and Dave get caught up in a vampire LARP, Brian outright states that he's willing to do JAIL TIME if it means getting them back (the jail time would be the result of using his plan, which involves snatching them off the street in his van and shoving them in his basement).
    Brian: Besides, we're talking about my two best friends here. I'd trudge through Hail and High Water for those guys. A couple of Hard Ones in Lock-Up is a risk I'm willing to take if it will save them.
  • During Nitro's Steam Tunnel Foray of '99, Newt Forager (one of the Black Hands) gets lost in the tunnels, apparently ending up in the Muncie sewer system (in reality he escaped after a few hours and was lounging around his apartment). When the rescue services decide to call off the search, believing it to be a hoax, Bob and Dave, with B.A., Sara and Brian as 'topside support', go into the steam tunnels to rescue him themselves. Of course it goes very badly (they get lost themselves for several days before surfacing in Hawg Waller's Bar), but give these two credit: that was an incredible thing to do for someone they barely knew.
    • Especially since Bob has had the misfortune to get lost in those same tunnels himself for several days a few years ago. And Dave was there during Newt's 'application' to become a potential Knight, only for Newt to use it as a chance to grab extra gold, items and experience point for a different group he was looking to join. Despite this, they still go down there to look for him.
  • Sara, for all the times she threatens him, trusts Dave enough to run her character when she's away for a session (a trust that was horribly misplaced, since Dave get said character killed).
  • When B.A. gets a hernia and has to have surgery, Bob, Dave, and Brian all visit him in the hospital. B.A. tells them how grateful he is for reminding him he has friends. This then turns into a Moment of Funny when they then make him run the weekly Hackmaster session for them from his hospital bed, but it’s a “D’awww” moment nevertheless.
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  • In one strip, Brian bails from the game early, claiming he has a date. Bob and Dave immediately start making fun of him and accusing him of making up another Alexis. Sara stands up for Brian, eventually lying and saying she’s his date and he was too much of a gentleman to say so. Later, she asks him if he really has a date. He sadly says no, and that he’s actually going to a Spice Girls concert and was afraid they would make fun of him for it. It then turns out Sara is also Spice Girls fan, and they go to the concert together. This is also notable for being one of Brian’s biggest Woobie moments.
  • When Dave is running a magic-user, Brian starts tutoring him. This is seemingly averted when it turns out Dave is paying him $20 a session. It finally becomes a major-league CMOH when it is revealed that Brian was using the money to buy Dave his own set of several out-of-print TabletopGame/HackMaster books that address spell-lobbing. Brian asks him to keep it a secret, because he has a reputation to maintain. This also cements Brian’s position as a true Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • B.A.’s dates with Patty are just plain Adorkable.
  • When Hard Eight, after Gary Jackson's Death, is essentially told by Ms. Jackson's Lawyer to 'start making a profit or the company gets shut down', the Staff band together to do just that. Jo-Jo even gives a speech/telling off to the Lawyer. It's nice to see that, though they are a business and thus want to make money, Hard Eight really does love Hack Master.
    Jo-Jo: What the Hell do you think's been going on here? Huh? We've been pulling together around here for twenty years! And not on some fat lawyer's salary either! Most of us work here because we love our jobs, Mr. Reynolds, It pays jack-squat but that's never been the issue! It isn't about money with us with us. Like you said we believe in our product. For crying out loud we could all be making better money in the real world!..... .....And now you're going to come in here and preach to us about pulling together and making sacrifices??
    • Jo-Jo really gets into it, stirring up and rallying the staff with further such speeches.
    Jo-Jo: I'm going to prove to Heidi and her lawyers that they're grossly wrong about Hard Eight! We're better than them, dammit! And I aim to prove it!
    • Additionally, Tuley suggests each of the staff taking an additional pay cut (on top of the one they are already going to have to take) in order to re-employ Waco Bob, who had already been fired because 'he had no value to the company'.
    Tuley: I guess I'm saying I'd be willing to go under the knife once more for... ummmmm... for a friend?
  • Crutch's character arc is one long heartwarming moment. When we first meet him, he's an ex-con, fresh out of prison, and looking to turn his life around. He sort of stumbles into Muncie's gaming community, and everyone accepts him with open arms (well, mostly, there's a few stragglers). He repeatedly refuses to go back to his old life and makes a concerted effort to turn his life around, culminating in him busting his ass to get his GM credentials and being able to run his own games, which everyone who plays at his table says are awesome.
    • Of particular note is Crutch's friendship with Bob. When Bob's scooter dies, Crutch gives him his nephew's old one. When Bob says he can't pay him for it, Crutch is almost offended. It's a gift, and he doesn't expect payment for gifts. Later, he blows off his biker friends to go riding with Bob—whose scooter could not keep up with their bikes—because he made a promise to Bob, and he doesn't let his friends down.
  • Brian can be such a Jerkass that at one point, Patty actually asks B.A., one of his closest friends, why the hell they put up with him. B.A.'s answer? When he and Bob (one of their other friends) were growing up together, they were both considered nerds. The other kids bullied them. A lot. He refuses to go into details, but he says that everything changed in the seventh grade. When Brian transferred to their school. He fell into the role of their bodyguard, escorting them in the halls, sitting with them at lunch, waiting with them at the bus stop. He also introduced them to role-playing games, which is how they met the many friends they've made over the years. And that, B.A. tells her, is why they put up with Brian. He may be a jerk on the surface, and he may also be a jerk deeper down, but at the very bottom layer of his being, he really does care about his friends.
  • At one point, having had the Knights trash yet another Campaign, B.A. is prepared to hang up the GM Screen, and goes to Weird Pete's Store to ask if there is anyone who can take over. Instead, Pete makes it clear to B.A. that he is actually a very good GM, and manages to convince him to carry on.
    Pete: Why the Hell do Bob, Dave, Sara and Brian keep coming back week after week, year after year to your table?....... It's you, B.A.! You're the reason they keep coming back. They push you because they're into your game and you challenge them. And they expect you to keep pushing back!....... Doesn't have what it takes? Heh, heh. Boy, if that doesn't beat all.
  • After Brian has finally started pushing his Comedic Sociopathy to the point where the entire community is turning against him, Weird Pete gives him one hell of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how he's going to end up completely alone if he keeps this up... and then in the next issue, finding out that Brian has taken the rebuke a little too much to heart, he corners Brian again and tells him that while all he said might be true, it's also true that Brian has it in him to become a better man. Brian miserably says that he thinks it might be too late for him, to which Pete replies, basically, "would I be standing here if it was too late, you big moron?" Awww... and the really amazing part? It actually sticks, and Brian goes on to make genuine (if somewhat ham-fisted - he's still Brian, after all) attempts to Take A Level In Kindness.


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